Stephanie, that delightful Happy Sorceress, over at Dispensing Happiness is having another blog party and I’m putting my dancing shoes on. Whoohoo!
This month’s theme is “It’s what’s inside”. We were asked to make an appetizer and a cocktail with something inside something else edible -( food, inside of food)- like for instance -a wonton or an empanada.
I decided to make “Croque Monsieur Gougeres” and a “Roly-Poly Orange Juice Punch.”
Gougeres are lovely little eggy, cheesy bits of choux pastry- in essence a savory version of a cream puff. They can be addictive to eat and are great with a glass of wine or as a cocktail nibble.
I made the Gougeres with aged Gouda, Black Pepper and Thyme and then stuffed them with the traditional Croque Monsieur filling of Ham, cheese and a Bechamel sauce-(actually I made the Bechamel into a Mornay sauce.)
Bechamel Sauce, 3 cups
- Heat 2 cups of milk in a small saucepan with a bay leaf until hot but not boiling.
- In another heavy bottomed sauce pan melt 3 Tablespoons of unsalted butter
- Mix 4 Tablespoons of AP Flour with 3/4 teaspoon of seasoned salt and a pinch of pepper
- Add the flour mixture to the melted butter and stir over low heat until a smooth paste (roux) forms and flour cooks a bit but does not brown
- Remove the bay leaf from the hot milk and add the milk to the roux, whisking constantly to avoid lumps.
- Cook until thickened and then add 1 egg yolk that has been mixed into 2 Tablespoons of half and half cream. Whisk and cook until thick.
- Remove from heat and add 1 Tablespoon sweet Madeira or Sherry (optional)
To make a Bechamel into a Mornay sauce
- To 2 cups heated Bechamel sauce add 3 Tablespoons of sharp finely grated cheese (cheddar) and a dash of Worcestershire sauce, herb salt to taste and a dash of cayenne pepper.
For Gougeres: Preheat oven to 350F
- Melt 8 Tablespoons (one stick) of unsalted butter in a large saucepan
- Add 1-1/4 cups of nonfat milk, you can also use 1% milk or water if preferred
- 2 large pinches of salt
- Bring to a full boil and add 1Cup of AP Flour, beat hard with a wooden spoon over the heat until a smooth ball forms and pulls away from the sides of the pan and the ball starts to look a bit dry (a couple of minutes)
- Off heat- Add 4 large eggs ONE AT A TIME, incorporating each fully before adding the next.
- Add 3/4 Cup shredded cheese of choice (I used Aged Gouda)
- 1-1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves only minced
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Use a pastry bag or two spoons to drop 2″ mounds about 2″ apart on a parchment lined baking tray. Smooth the tops slightly, brush with a beaten egg and sprinkle a little grated cheese over the tops.
(you can make them bite sized or larger and just adjust the baking time if you wish)
- Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden, puffed and light to the touch
- Remove from oven and poke a little hole in each gougere to let any steam escape
- Serve warm or room temperature, can be reheated for 5 minutes to re-crisp.
To assemble as Croque Monsieur Gougeres, carefully remove the top and add a spoonful of sauce, a slice of ham and a bit of grated cheese. Serve warm.
Roly Poly Orange Juice Punch
- Take a ripe navel orange and roll it around the counter to release the juices on the inside. Cut a thin slice off whichever side you wish to be the bottom so the orange an sit flat now.
- cut a small plug on the “top” and seat a funnel in the opening. Add Pomegranate juice and vodka or gin if you wish. Stick a straw in the plug opening and enjoy.
Thanks for the invitation to the Party, Stephanie! I’m looking forward to everyone’s delish tidbits!